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New member with a blind 10-year-old Jack Russell

189 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  IrisKB
Hi, I'm new to the forums.

We rather spontaneously adopted an old Jack Russell last Wednesday. Monty is 10 years old and nearly completely blind. I think he may see something out of the corner of his eyes because of how he turns his head, but it's very little, and he does a fair bit of bumping into stuff. He used to live with an old lady who was suffering with Parkinsons and suddenly had to go into hospital and then into care, so the family paid for the kennels as a temporary measure. He didn't cope well and developed a skin condition as well as stress-induced colitis. Things got so bad that the kennel contacted the daugher of the owner because they were concerned about his well-being, and a colleague of mine took him in as a foster for a few days. She would have liked to keep him but she lives on her own and works long hours and she felt that he needed more company than she would be able to provide him with, and that's how he ended up with us. We are a family of 5 with our youngest only 7 and the oldest just 12 years old, we have 2 cats, 3 chickens, and 8 fancy rats. Considering Jack Russells are basically ratters it doesn't sound like the ideal set-up and we were not at all convinced, but we met him and felt it might just work...

He's a lovely little dog, and, despite being a terrier, he is not bothered either by kids, cats, or chickens! All he wants to do is lie either next to or on someone on the sofa and doze - unless there is food available, in which case that is an immediate priority.

In some ways Monty is very easy and straight-forward in his care, but in other ways he's quite difficult. He has some health issues - mainly his upset tummy / colitis, due to the stress of rehoming, but much more of an issue is his separation-anxiety and the fact that apart from the traumatic time in the kennels he has never slept alone a day in his life. I'm currently having to sleep on the sofa and the only progress I've been able to make so far is that he is now not sleeping on the same sofa as me but on the other sofa in the room. After two nights with him curled against my legs and being unable to move it felt like a huge milestone...

I'm really hoping to get some help on this forum because in order to make this work for all of us longterm we need to train him to sleep by himself. All this sofa-sleeping isn't great for a marriage!!
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I think its great that you adopted an older dog. He sounds like a sweetheart. Could you get a dog bed that could be in your bedroom that he could sleep in? That way he is close to you but you can still be in your own bed. Good luck.
Hi Nadia, thanks for replying. We did consider that and it would probably work but bringing a dog upstairs is where my husband has his limit. But even if I could convince him I don't think it would be safe for Monty because he tend to want to follow everywhere. He's already managed to fall down some stairs because being blind he isn't exactly safe on there so I don't want to encourage him to go up and down - at least at the moment he knows that he can't follow us upstairs... Plus, it still doesn't get round his separation issues and we need to find a way of being able to leave him for short periods at least. I don't think he'd ever need to be alone for hours and hours, but I do want to be able to at least nip out for some milk!!

He is a sweetie, though, and we already love him, so we are trying our hardest to make this work for our family.
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